“Embutidos Ortiz comes from a meat tradition that we want to and must defend. That is why our way of innovating cannot lose sight of our origins or our roots”.
These words sum up the intervention of Inés Ortiz, head of the Quality and R&D&I Department of Embutidos Ortizat the 2nd Healthy Forum of La Rioja, organised by theGovernment of La Rioja and the Agri-Food Technology Centre (Ctic-Cita). Inés Ortiz participated in the Round Table on Success Stories together with representatives of the companies Argal, Foncasal and Naturvega.
Durante su intervención Inés Ortiz, tras un breve repaso a la trayectoria histórica de la empresa, recordó a los asistentes que “Innovation has always existed, but now the type of innovation has changed. We have to make it more visible because either you innovate or you disappear. Embutidos Ortiz decided to open its own innovation line for which, given our size and resources, we needed the collaboration of the Centro Tecnológico Agroalimentario de La Rioja (Agri-Food Technology Centre of La Rioja). This help has been fundamental for us now to guide us and to learn about the applications of all their knowledge. ”
When asked about the path of innovation chosen by Embutidos Ortiz, the head of R&D&I pointed out that: “.Today, innovation has many applications and a large public, so you have the possibility of personalising it, deciding on one market or another. We come from a meat tradition that we want and have to defend, but we believe that we can improve it and that is the direction in which we have worked. We have opted to improve the nutritional value of our products by reducing the lipid value and the salt content”.
The Chorizo with Quinoa that we launched a year ago,” continued Inés Ortiz. comes from a project we call Superingredients. We wanted to defend our meat tradition but we wanted to see how we could improve it. We looked at various prototypes and among them we found quinoa. With its properties, we opted to reduce the lipid profile of the final product. We have succeeded, but not to the extent we initially intended because we wanted to give priority to the flavour of our chorizo. We have considerably reduced the lipid value with respect to the original matrix but we did not want to lose the traditional flavour, we wanted a balanced flavour that did not lose the identity of the traditional chorizo. We want to innovate but without losing our origins. “The Embutidos OrtizChorizo with Quinoa was the first ofthe innovative products presented by Embutidos Ortiz. The Chorizo with Kombu seaweed and the Chorizo Criollo with Kombu seaweed will be marketed shortly. The Chorizo with Quinoa was selected for the Carrefour Innovation Awards, the Sial Paris Innovation Awards and won the Product of the Year award. I think,” said Inés Ortiz.
We have been awarded Product of the Year precisely because we have maintained the traditional flavour in an innovative product. The aim was to incorporate an ingredient that would add new nutritional value without changing the flavour. In fact, the end result was a very tasty chorizo, although a little milder, so we have noticed that children like it very much because it is very easy for them to eat and also for older people who want to take care of themselves a little. “Regarding the future of innovation in a company like Embutidos Ortiz, the head of R&D&I expressed the family company’s intention to ”
keeping with tradition and trying to improve our products nutritionally. We have incorporated vegetable protein in our Chorizo with Kombu seaweed, but not as a substitute but rather to present a new flavour that will surprise a different type of consumer. But for us, for the time being, our traditional matrix, our recipe of a lifetime is untouchable and only consists of top quality pork, salt, paprika and garlic. ”
DOES THE CONSUMER WANT TO PAY MORE FOR INNOVATION?
The last part of the debate focused on consumers, their new tastes and, above all, whether they are willing to pay more for innovative, healthier products. For Inés Ortiz “. The key thing is to observe and listen to the consumer. Once we have done this, we obviously have to train ourselves in what the consumer wants. We are always open to change, what happens now is that the main barrier to change, the main difficulty, is the speed at which everything is evolving. ”
Regarding the price of these new products, the head of Quality and R&D&I at Embutidos Ortiz pointed out that “…the new products have a very low price.it is a subject that we study a lot in our case. The intention to buy is different from the desire to innovate. The shelves are very expensive and it is not always possible to be in all of them. Consumers like innovation but they don’t always have the intention to buy. That is why we decided to go for a line that already existed in our company, which is chorizo sarta without additives. It is a product that the consumer already knew and by incorporating Quinoa we did not increase the price of the product as both its ingredients and its production were already part of our philosophy. It is a challenge to develop an innovative product in line with the consumer trend and the consumer’s intention to buy and that at the same time does not involve a major change in the structure of a company’s production system. ”
TASTING OF INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS
The 2nd Healthy Forum of La Rioja ended with a Tasting of Innovative Products from companies such as Argal, Gutarra, Helios, Naturvega, Veggian, Martínez Somalo, amerex and, of course, Embutidos Ortiz with our products Chorizo with Quinoa and Chorizo with Kombu Algae.